By Melvin Lane
SOUTHFIELD–The Warren De La Salle Pilots (2-0) hadn’t beaten the Muskegon Big Reds (1-1) in four previous matchups but the 5th time was a charm as they cruised to a 49-16 victory on Friday evening.
The defending division 2 state champs, Warren De La Salle quarterback, senior Brady Drogosh guided the Pilots on 7 consecutive scoring drives.
After two straight turnovers to start the game for Muskegon that resulted in Drogosh connecting with Sheron Sutton II twice for scores, the Big Reds responded with a dazzling 81 yard TD run by junior Destin Piggee.
That momentum the Big Reds created was short lived as Pilots senior Chancy Shaw punched in a touchdown run to end the first quarter.
Muskegon had opportunities to score when the game was in reach.
Junior Adrian Ramos-Velazquez cashed in with a 28 yard FG to cut the De La Salle lead to 21-10. That drive was promising but the Big Reds settled for a field goal after several miscues.
The Pilots found the endzone one more time before half when Drogosh found senior Triston Nichols open for a 55 yard touchdown reception with 8:43 left in the half.
Back to back sacks by Pilots senior Mason Muragin ended Muskegon hopes of any opportunity to score to end the half as Muskegon was forced to punt on 4th and 31 from the De La Salle 38.
“They (De La Salle) kinda jumped on us and all of a sudden our kids heads went spinning,” said Muskegon head coach Shane Fairfield.
“These are Dan (De La Salle head coach Dan Rohn) kids and this is their third year in this system. All they know is his system and how to win”.
The second half of the game saw the Pilots score 3 more touchdowns to ensure the running clock.
Drogosh found Nichols for another score, senior Rhett Roeser found Muragin for a 2 yard touchdown reception and junior Landon Belesky scored from 15 yards out.
Muskegon’s senior Wanyai Johnson finally got the Big Reds on the board after two turnovers on downs in the second half with a 2 yard touchdown run with 5:17 left in the fourth to close out the scoring.
“These kids are resilient. They’ll comeback from this and work. We grew up a lot. If we make this big run that I think and know we can, we’ll look back at this like yeah remember that game,” said Fairfield.
“This is a humbling game for us. We didn’t have to take it if we didn’t want to but we want to test ourselves every year.”
Drogosh finished the game with 211 yards passing and four touchdowns and led the Pilots with 106 yards rushing. Nichols led the Pilots with 94 receiving yards.
Muskegon finished with 211 rushing yards with Piggee accounting for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Junior quarterback M’Khi Guy finished with 82 total yards while senior quarterback Julian Neely finished with 78 yards passing and Johnson finished with 55 yards rushing.
Next up for Muskegon is a home game against Reeths-Puffer (2-0), next Friday evening, September 9th. It will be OK Conference – Green opener for both teams.
Game time is set for 7pm.